It’s great fun to include your dog or cat in your Halloween celebrations. Remember, though: this is one of the most dangerous holidays of the year for our animal friends! Use these tips from an Omaha, NE veterinarian to keep your pet safe:
Chocolate and candy are, of course, quite common this time of year. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, chemicals that don’t mix well with animals. Candies and sweet baked goods are often sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sugar substitute that can poison pets in very small amounts. On trick-or-treat night, keep your pet far away from the treat bowl, and be sure to store leftover chocolate and candy inside closed cabinets where pets can’t reach.
Planning on dressing your pet up in their very own costume? Keep in mind that not all pets enjoy wearing clothing; in fact, it may stress them out greatly! Ensure that your pet’s costume is not too loose or too tight, and check it for small parts—plastic buttons, zippers, etc.—that could be chewed off and choked on or swallowed.
If you’ve decorated your home with pumpkins, gourds, autumn corn, or other common Halloween-time plants, use caution: these types of decorations aren’t necessarily toxic, but your pet may experience an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea if they manage to ingest too much. Take steps to restrict your animal companion’s access.
The electrical wires of holiday decorations—plastic jack-o-lanterns, ghosts that light up, and the like—should be taped down so that pets can’t get tangled. Your pet may also decide to chew on an electrical cord, which could result in a dangerous shock.
One of the main dangers of trick-or-treat night is anxiety. With the doorbell ringing constantly and strangers showing up to your door, your excitable pet may become overwhelmed! It’s also possible for your pet to dart out of the front door when you open it for trick-or-treaters. It may be safest to keep your pet secured in an upstairs room for the duration of the evening to avoid anxiety or the possibility of escape. Also make sure that your animal friend is wearing a microchip, ID tags on the collar, or both if they do manage to escape despite your best efforts.
For more great tips on keeping your pet safe this Halloween, contact your vet in Omaha, NE.